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Anchorage housing study not enough to stop Eielson F-16 move?

Alaska Dispatch

Air Force officials say that a new study indicating that Anchorage's housing market is too tight to accept the families of a whole F-16 Aggressor squadron won't be the only piece of information they use to decide about moving the unit from Fairbanks, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The 48-page housing study by contractor SAIC was released Tuesday after Air Force review. The study notes that Anchorage's vacancy rate is around 2.6 percent, which critics of the proposed move say indicates that housing availability for transferred military and family would be extremely limited.

Alaska's Washington D.C. delegation as a whole has been critical of the F-16 move since day one because of its anticipated economic impact to the Fairbanks area. Earlier this year, Alaska's senators and lone representative worked together to help delay the squadron's move, giving time to conduct studies, including the Anchorage housing market report.

Spokeswoman Maj. Alysia Hayes, of the Pacific Air Force based in Hawaii said, "The secretary of the Air Force will consider multiple data sources such as the housing market analysis, environmental impact statement, costs, military operational requirements and congressional/community inputs before he makes a final decision on relocating the F-16s from Eielson AFB to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

"If the decision is made to continue with the move, then the Air Force will explore all options to ensure the arriving airmen can find safe and affordable housing."

The one-year reprieve will end on Sept. 30, 2012, the end of the current federal fiscal year.

Read more, here.